Region applauds Rwanda for best emerging actor in Africa in agricultural program implementation

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The 14the The Agriculture and Food Security Sector Council (SCAFS) meeting concluded in Arusha, Tanzania on 25e June 2021.

Presiding over the ministerial session, the Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Lawrence Angolo Omuhaka, stressed the urgent need for the region to put implement harmonized policies and operationalize regional instruments in order to guarantee agricultural production, trade in basic products and to achieve sustainable regional food and nutrition security.

Regarding the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) – Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all – M Omuhaka noted that AU Member States were required to demonstrate their commitment to the ideals and principles of CAADP, by following relevant CAADP processes.

“This will ensure that there are appropriate measures to accelerate agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods for the people of the continent, by 2025,” Omuhaka said.

The Chief Administrative Secretary further noted with concern that the CAADP second biennial report submitted to the AU General Assembly in February 2020 showed that the East African region, with the exception of the Republic of Rwanda, was not on track for most of the goals. He added that the report portrays the absolute and relative performance of countries and indicates that there is much to be done to transform the agricultural sector in Africa.

“As a region, we should congratulate the Republic of Rwanda for becoming the best performing country on the continent for the second time, with a score of 7.24, which is above the minimum score of 6.66 required for be on the right track, ”he added.

Speaking on behalf of the EAC Secretariat, the Director of Productive Sectors, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana noted that over 70% of EAC industries were based on agriculture, including the production of inputs. agricultural; while 75% of the goods traded are raw materials and agricultural products.

“Linking agricultural trade and industry is therefore imperative to promote agricultural production, as industries provide the market for agricultural products while trade provides processed agricultural products to the market / consumer,” Havigimana noted.

The director stressed the need to promote and strengthen commercial agriculture, urging the region to learn lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the need to promote local industries. He observed that the region imported many products from outside before the pandemic, but that it was possible to produce them locally.

“Textile industries must be promoted instead of depending on the import of used fabrics. It is necessary to promote local consumption and the supply of locally produced goods, as the Heads of State have stressed, ”he noted.

On regional food security, the meeting noted that there was commendable commitment and progress towards achieving global and continental nutrition goals, as efforts to reduce levels of malnutrition were evident in all partner states. However, the Sector Council noted that the levels of stunting, underweight and anemia are still well above the targets set in the CAADP / Malabo Declaration. The meeting therefore noted the need for partner states to allocate more technical and financial resources to projects and programs put in place to improve food and nutrition security.

On aflatoxin prevention and control, the Sector Council led the Secretariat and urged partner states to accelerate the implementation of the EAC aflatoxin prevention and control strategy. Aflatoxin contamination poses a serious threat to human and animal health, as well as to the economies of EAC partner states. The strategy contains recommendations on the interventions needed to mitigate the impacts and effects of aflatoxin along the food and feed value chains.

Regarding pest management, the Sector Council adopted standard operating procedures for the operationalization of pest risk analysis (PRA) for maize, beans and rice. In November 2019, the Council of Ministers approved harmonized procedures for carrying out pest risk analyzes (PRAs) for maize, beans and rice. Subsequently, the development of harmonized standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the inspection of cereals (maize, beans and rice) was necessary to operationalize the PRAs.

In addition, the Sector Council adopted seven other priority crops – banana, cassava, potato (consumption and seeds), sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and pineapples and requested the Secretariat to embark on the development of a crop analysis. phytosanitary risks (PRA) for selected crops.

Regarding livestock development, the Sector Council requested the EAC Secretariat to develop programs and dedicate resources to promote the development of priority livestock value chains, given the importance of sector in the economies of partner states.

The meeting also tasked the Secretariat to finalize and widely disseminate the EAC Strategy for the Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses, 2020-2024, as well as the development of guidelines and standard operating procedures for surveillance. , cross-border preparedness and response to cross-border animals. and zoonotic diseases

The strategy and guidelines should set out ways and means for partner states to collaborate in the mitigation and management of epidemics of major transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases such as food and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), Rift Valley (RVF), Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), anthrax, rabies, trypanosomiasis, Newcastle disease (ND), African swine fever (ASF) and theileriosis among others.

The ministers also observed the need for the EAC Secretariat to develop programs and dedicate resources to promote the development of fisheries and aquaculture in the EAC region.

The ministers appreciated and took note of the various initiatives coordinated by the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) for the sustainable management and development of fisheries and aquaculture in the EAC.

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